Did you know that 7,904 pedestrians died in 2020 from traffic or non-traffic accidents (driveways, parking lots, or private property)? Most of these accidents take place in urban settings. And in dark lighting conditions (that’s why reflective gear when walking at night is so highly recommended).
If you are a pedestrian that got hit by a car either while walking or riding a bike, hopefully, you didn’t sustain too many injuries. And are conscious enough to call emergency services. Keep reading to find out what to do if you get hit by a car under such circumstances.
1. Get to a Safe Area, Unless You Have Major Injuries
Unless the vehicle was driving at a very slow speed, it’s highly likely that being hit by a car while walking or biking would cause you serious injuries. And if that’s the case, it’s better not to move your head, neck, or spine, so you don’t inadvertently make the injuries worse.
If you feel like you hit your head when you got hit by a car or you might have a concussion, a back injury, or a broken bone, try not to move and ask someone else nearby to call emergency services on your behalf.
But if you can move and your injuries aren’t too severe, it’s a good idea to move off the street as it can be dangerous and to somewhere safer. That could be a sidewalk or a parking lot, anywhere off the busy street.
2. Call Emergency Services
Take a few deep breaths once you are in a safe area to calm yourself down and then call 911. If you are too anxious, nervous, or excitable, they are not going to understand you well and that would be a waste of their time and yours.
As clearly as possible, inform them of the accident and your injuries. They will send someone to look at your injuries, even if they don’t seem that serious. And that’s important.
No matter how minor your injuries might be, it’s crucial to get medical assistance for them. This is for two reasons.
Firstly, you want to ensure you document your injuries using a medical professional for insurance purposes, or in case the motorist sues you for negligence or distracted behavior (if you were texting while walking and stepped into traffic unconsciously).
Secondly, you want to get a checkup, just in case you thought your injuries were minor, but they turned out to be much more severe. This is something only a trained medical professional will be able to tell.
If you aren’t capable enough to call medical services on your own, make sure someone else does it on your behalf. There should be some bystanders around to take on that responsibility.
3. Document Your Injuries as Best as You Can
With the help of a medical professional, make sure to take pictures and videos of your injuries as best as you can. Also, before you leave the accident site, take videos and pictures of that area as well, so you have evidence of the negligence of the motorist when they hit you.
This picture and video evidence are going to be essential when you go to court to fight for your rights as a pedestrian. Unless you were directly at fault, it’s probably the motorist who was negligent and hit you while distracted.
As we said earlier, no matter if you think you feel ‘fine’, don’t hesitate and get a full medical evaluation in any case. It will be so useful once you go to trials and need evidence against the negligent motorist.
4. Contact a Lawyer Right Away
It’s important to contact a pedestrian or bicycle accident lawyer (follow this link) as soon as you can, as well. You don’t want to wait until your injuries get better or anything like that.
The sooner you can get a lawyer on your side to document and collect evidence, the more likely it is that you will be successful during the trial and get the compensation you deserve. It will also be easier for your lawyer to gear up witnesses and other such things when there isn’t too much of a delay from your accident to them being hired.
5. Don’t Argue With or Discuss Anything With the Driver
A lot of pedestrians or bicyclists, because of the rage, frustration, or fear they feel after the accident, might end up in a confrontation or argument with the driver. This is a useless endeavor on your part, because it will waste your time and energy, and could result in a bias against you from the bystanders, and any medical services that arrive on the scene.
Stay calm and zen about the situation. Don’t worry – the opposing party will get their comeuppance and you get the compensation you deserve. But you have to wait until you get to the courts to do that.
If you start arguing with the motorist right now, or with their insurance company, you won’t get anything in return, and you might aggravate your injuries further.
What to Do if You Get Hit by a Car – Stay Calm
The calmer you can stay throughout the process, the more likely it is that you will make better decisions and do everything that is needed to win your case in court. Anger can befuddle the brain and fear can do the same.
Take deep breaths (unless you have broken ribs) and follow the steps laid about. This way you won’t overthink or worry about what to do if you get hit by a car.
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